From Russia in Love

Nancy Nicol

2009, 09:52 minutes, colour, English


In April, a public opinion poll ordered by the LGBT Human Rights Project and realized by the Public Opinion Organization Levada Center showed that 73.4% of Russians are against the legalization of same-sex marriage.
On May 12, 2009, Irina Shepitko and Irina Fedotova-Fet, a lesbian couple, applied for a marriage licence in Moscow. Their application took place during the Moscow Pride, renamed as Slavic Pride, which took place under the motto "Gay equality - no compromise", calling for the right to adopt children and same-sex marriage. In June 2009, the couple appealed the refusal of a marriage license, but on October 6, 2009, the Court upheld the refusal of a license. On October 23, 2009, the couple and their lawyer, Nikolai Alekseev, traveled to Canada and with the support of Egale Canada and local activists held a press conference at the Toronto City Hall.
They were married later that day by Canada’s first openly gay Judge Harvey Brownstone. The newly wed couple will seek recognition of their Canadian marriage in Russia, in the hope their Canadian marriage will help to advance their struggle for equality and acceptance back home. They intend, with the support of their lawyer, to pursue their right to marriage to Russia’s Supreme Court and if unsuccessful there they will take their case to the European court of Human Rights. Caroline Mecary, a French lawyer who defended a same-sex couple from France in a similar case at the European Court, has agree to take Irina and Irina’s case to Strasbourg.

Short synopsis:
When a Russian court threw out their request to marry in Russia, Irina Shipitko and Irina Fedotova-Fet traveled to Toronto, Canada. On October 23, 2009, they were married in Toronto hoping their Canadian marriage will help to advance their struggle for equality and acceptance back home. With the support of their lawyer, Nikolai Alexeyev, they will pursue their case to Russia's Supreme Court and to the European Court of Human Rights.

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